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Chokwe Lumumba, Jackson, Miss. Mayor and Rights Activist, Dies at 66

Image: Chokwe Lumumba, Jackson, Miss. Mayor and Rights Activist, Dies at 66

By Jonna Lorenz   |   Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 04:04 PM

Chokwe Lumumba, mayor of Jackson, Miss., and a well-known lawyer and human rights activist, died Tuesday at age 66.

A cause of death wasn’t immediately reported.

Lumumba, who died at St. Dominic Hospital, was said to have a cold, according to the Detroit Free Press.

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A statement from Chief of Staff Safiya Omari was posted on the mayor’s Facebook page.

 


Lumumba, a Democrat, was sworn in as mayor in July after serving a year on the City Council. He is known for his legal representation of rapper Tupac Shakur, including a case in which Shakur was cleared of aggravated assault charges in the shootings of two off-duty police officers.

Other high-profile work includes convincing Republican Gov. Haley Barbour to release the Scott Sisters from prison, where they served 16 years for an armed robbery they said they didn’t commit. As mayor, he convinced voters to pass a 1-cent local sales tax for infrastructure improvements.

According to his election website, Lumumba’s activism included advocating for survivors of Hurricane Katrina, mentoring youth and co-founding the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

Lumumba had three children: Kambon Mutope, Rukia Kai, and Chokwe Antar Lumumba.

News of Lumbumba’s death spurred an outpouring on Twitter, including posts from The Rev. Al Sharpton and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.





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